Leaders select senators for Maoputasi, Ituau counties
Traditional leaders for one of three seats in the Ma’oputasi county have finally selected its next senator, while the Ituau County council of traditional leaders meets later this week to confirm the two senators already selected from Nu’uuli and Fagasa.
Among the new senators from Ituau is the current Chief Election Officer, Soliai Tuipine Fuimaono, who has previously served in the Senate.
Maoputasi county, which is made up of the villages in the Bay Area from Fagaalu to Aua, has three seats in the Senate, but while two seats have already been selected, the third seat that represents the villages of Aua, Leloaloa and Atu’u remains pending as leaders of these three villages were unable to reach a consensus two weeks ago.
A second meeting was convened Monday this week and Faumuina Tagisiaali’i of Leloaloa was selected. Faumuina told Samoa News yesterday that the final decision was not an easy one because Paopaoailua Joe Fiaui of Aua had also argued for the seat.
However, in the end it was decided that “I was to represent us in the Senate,” said Faumuina, who is the out-going ‘fa’alupega’ or county clerk for Maoputasi.
The other two Maoputasi senators already selected are Sen. Mauga T. Asuega and Fa’agata Mano Fa’agata III.
This county, comprising the villages of Nu’uuli, Matu’u, Faganeanea and Fagasa, has two seats in the Senate. The county council and traditional leaders are set to meet Dec. 21 for the official confirmation and certification of its next two senators, who were selected from Fagasa and Nu’uuli over the weekend, said a traditional leader for the county.
At the meeting of the Fagasa village council, they selected Alo Fa’auuga, who will replace sitting Sen. Alo Dr. Paul Stevenson, who had wanted another four-year term in office.
Alo Fa’auuga is currently with the Department of Public Safety and prior to that was with the Office of Samoan Affairs.
During the Nu’uuli village council meeting Soliai was selected as the other county senator. Soliai has been chief election officer since 1993, after serving in the Senate once before, representing Ituau.
The second Ituau seat is currently held by Sen. Levu Tulafono Solaita, who was selected by the Nu’uuli Village Council in March this year to fill the seat left vacant due to the passing of the late Sen. Seui Laau Sr.
Reports received by Samoa News states that Levu wanted to return to the Senate to serve a full four-year term.
Soliai, who was reappointed by the governor and reconfirmed by the Fono in September last year for another three-year term as Chief Election Officer, will step down from the election office post.
The new administration will have the task of appointing a new chief election officer, who is subject to Fono confirmation.
Samoa News reporters Ausage Fausia and Fili Sagapolutele contributed to this report.